In behavioural healthcare, PCOMS or Partners for Change Outcome Management System is the term used for a client feedback program that involves psychologists seeking regular and real-time feedback from their clients in order to understand therapy effectiveness and take any corrective actions if needed
The idea of PCOMS is to increase therapy effectiveness, reduce client dropouts, increase positive treatment outcomes and reduce hospitalization stay tenure. It reduces the overall cost of therapy in the long run.
PCOMS is not a separate process but it is integrated within therapy itself and involves the filling of two brief scales at the beginning and end of each therapeutic session. These two scales are called the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and the Session Rating Scale (SRS). The ORS is a measure of the client's therapeutic progress and is a simple, four item visual analog scale that is administered at the beginning of each therapy session. The SRS is also a four-item analog scale administered at the end of the session and it measures the strength of the therapeutic alliance between the psychologist and the client.
To maintain client engagement and make him a part of the therapy process, the ratings from these two scales are discussed with the client on a session by session basis. Depending upon the level of improvement or the trajectory of change, the therapist can then decide the course of treatment so as to achieve maximum positive outcome from therapy.
The Heart and Soul of Change Project, led by Dr. Barry Duncan and The International Center for Clinical Excellence, headed by Dr. Scott D Miller disseminate PCOMS. MyOutcomes has used this science and has taken this approach to the next level by providing a web-based system that graphically depicts these two scales and compares the client's progress to the Expected Treatment Response (ETR) of clients with the same intake score. This further reduces time and effort at the end of the therapist as he can analyse all the information at the click of a button.